While it is true that the Indonesian constitution does not outlaw Shiite Islam, a superficial look at the matter can be deceptive. Indonesia’s state doctrine Pancasila acknowledges six faiths and pledges to treat these faiths equally: Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism.

Such a promise of egalitarianism has helped to put the label “secular” on Pancasila and the country has traditionally been associated with religious pluralism and tolerance.

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